As expected Derby winner Masar was supplemented for the Coral Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday – first Gp 1 clash-of-the-generations of the season. Aidan O’Brien has left his 2000 Gns winner Saxon Warrior in at the five-day stage even though his colt finished third in the Irish Derby last Sunday when a beaten Even money favourite.
Masar is 11/10 (from 5/4) with BetVictor with Derby third Roaring Lion 7/4 and I will be surprised if the prize did not go to one of these two progressive three-year-olds. I feel O’Brien will wait for York next month before running Saxon Warrior over 10f in the Juddmonte International – a trip I have always thought would be his optimum.
At Worcester this afternoon Sizing Scorpion has much to prove having been pulled up on his British debut, but he has been dropped 9lbs for that modest effort and preference is for recent C&D winner Auenwirbel (2.10).
The selection carries a 7lbs penalty for a 2L win here last week when he was going away at the finish. That was the fastest ground he had encountered in his career and he looks open to further improvement.
There is a hot two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle and Alcock And Brown is likely to be a warm order despite a 10lbs rise for a fluent win over C&D last month for the inform Skelton’s. Malton Rose failed to stay the extended three miles at Warwick when last seen and this trip looks ideal.
Nicky Henderson’s lightly-raced seven-year-old must go close but preference is for The Sweeney (3.40) who may have found the race coming too soon at Towcester back in May and he has been given a near two-month lay-off for Emma Lavelle. He is unproven on fast ground but the hope is that the executive produce – as described – genuine good ground.
Henderson also saddles Armaans Wish (4.10) in the 2m Novice Hurdle and this son of Presenting can make a winning start over timber. The 7-y-old has been off the track for exactly two years but is bound to be fit enough to do himself justice and this Bumper winner gets the vote with Jeremiah McGrath keeping the mount – rode him all three Bumper starts.
Mark Johnston’s Light Heart (2.30) just gets the vote ahead of Beryl The Petal in the 7f Median Auction race at Musselburgh. The selection showed promise when second (of three) at Ayr over 6f and he is bred to appreciate today’s additional furlong.
Mujassam (3.30) carries a 6lbs penalty for a fluent Hamilton win last week over 6f and today’s additional furlong is no concern. More of a worry is his moderate draw in stall six (of eight) around the tight right-hand bend but he has run well from higher marks in the past and will be hard to beat if in the same mood on last Thursday.
Jacob Black (4.00) lost his race at the start when missing the break at Carlisle last month and in the circumstances, ran a terrific race to finish second. If PJ McDonald can get Keith Dalgleish’s seven-year-old out on terms I feel he will be hard to beat despite a 3lbs rise for his last start.
History Writer (4.20) was taken out of a recent Haydock event when he looked to have a gilt-edged opportunity to break his maiden tag but he cannot be opposed at Thirsk this afternoon. The form of his second to Ibraz at Nottingham back in May is useful and he receives weight from the other principles.